INTERVIEWS

GummiHz Interview

1. Can you tell me about your artistic background? Which musical scene do you come from?

I was introduced to the guitar at a young age and took up lessons on classical guitar for a few years. It helped me a lot to appreciate the power of music, to understand how to build harmonies and musical forms. There was a strong rock and heavy metal scene in my hometown at the time. Most of my friends where playing instruments like bass, drums, keys so we ended up forming a band and started rehearsing at the basement in a friend’s house. His dad was a drummer and he had already built “a room in a room” type of studio there for rehearsing!

That was a few years ago and since then i have developed a taste for many different styles of music. So i cant really put my finger on a certain musical scene that i come from. You see within this time i have lived in London, where i was regularly going to many clubs like the legendary the End club in Holborn, to listen to djs i admired a lot. These were mainly techno and house clubs with the occasional visit to jazz and swing spots like Ronnie Scott’s! Then i moved to Berlin which helped me appreciate electronic music in many different forms! Nowadays, I have a soft ear for jazz, classical, disco, funk, soul, folk, krautrock and electronic music in general.

2. Do you feel more comfortable within the walls of a studio, or in live dimension?

Well, each has its own pleasures lets say! I started out with djing so i got hooked with the energy that you exchange with the crowd. You get a reaction to the way you operate the machines instantly and this is what pushes you to build your set. Each venue or event has its own energy on which you tap on with your music to create an atmosphere! Its has a lot to do with the moment!

Producing in the studio is different. It is your own place within space and time where you exercise and learn ways to better yourself and your craft. Its a huge learning process to make the machines develop a nice discussion with each other! Producing has also played a big part in how i appreciate sound and has definitely helped me improve my performance while. Producing is like really taking your time to lay out a feeling you had in a moment!

In my eyes, both are inter connected, as live performances inspire me to go in the studio and produce music!

3. Let’s talk about the choice of your artistic name. How did you think it?

The nickname GummiHz came to me back in 2004. I was living in London at the time and was influenced a lot by the techno and minimal scene which was growing. It was also the time when i started buying more records from German labels. I developed a fascination for all these wobbly sounds and rhytmic textures which hide between the beats and melodies. These elastic frequencies as i like to call them! In German you describe elastic as “gummi”. The unit for measuring frequencies is Hertz (Hz). And so, its GummiHz!

4. Tell me about the label “Claap”. This period is just its 5th anniversary, that is celebrated in a
new compilation.

I launched Claap at the end of 2010. Mainly, for three reasons. One being to release new house and techno music from young producers as well as more established artists. The label has also offered me the freedom to produce the music i want without any compromises. At the time, i also felt like i wanted to take control of the whole record making process. So far the label has gained some attention in the scene. Some of our fans include artists like Derrick May, Danny Tenaglia, Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice and many more. In these five years, Claap has also released music and remixes from artists like Nikola Gala, Jerome Sydenham, Kindimmer, D’Julz, Oskar Offermann, Jimpster, Manoo, Square Room Heroes, John Dimas, Nightdrivers, Santonio Echols, Karim Sahraoui to name a few!

5. You played in many places around the world, which differences have you found?

I like to travel and it is a blessing that comes with this profession. It is very fascinating to be able to witness various cultures around the world, their traditions and the way people live. What is fascinating though is that everywhere i go i find more similarities with people rather than differences. Regarding the club scene, every country has its style of preference. Like people might be more into house, techno, minimal or trance. It is always an interesting challenge to play my set while trying to bring people into my sound but in a way that can be familiar to them too! It definitely inspires me to keep on digging and producing tracks to enrich my sonic spectrum!

6. Is there an artist or a kind of music that you like far of the music you do? Do you follow what is happening around you, or are you a distracted listener, only thinking playing?

Bill Evans is one of my favorites. It is the sort of music that got me hooked instantly and i regularly go back to his music or the songs they wrote with the Bill Evans Trio. I am not constantly looking for new music and if i like a song or an album i will listen to it for a while. When i am working on new music i tend to lock myself in, so i don’t listen to music much then. It is a sort of detoxication process that helps me explore new ways of producing and making sounds.

7. Which roads will your music take in the future?

I am trying to explore any musical path that inspires me and so far i have also released tracks outside the house and techno sphere under different aliases. Like disco, tropical rock, slowjams and some edits. In the future i want to keep on this journey and keep learning to develop my arrangements. I still have a lot to learn so i am looking forward to a few nice surprises up ahead. I also hope to keep running all three of my labels Claap, C-EDITS and Raw Instinct! And who knows maybe another label might appear soon!

8. What is your relationship with other forms of art? Are you interested in painting, photography, or movies?

I was always fascinated with nature and landscapes, so i made a small collection of images from places that i have visited in the past. One of the things that pushed me more into exploring other art forms was when i launched the labels. It made me appreciate more the power of graphics, animation and video. At Claap, we have created a team with which we produce video features, performances and music videos of our artists. You can find all this content on our channel on Youtube called Claap TV.

 

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